In challenging times, developing self-compassion is vital for happiness. Some people tend to be generous in praising and forgiving others but are too hard on themselves. They only see their flaws and shortcomings.
If they fail at something or make a mistake, they cannot forgive themselves and struggle to move on. These negative perceptions produce a critical inner voice that results in more negative thinking. As a result, they cannot find joy or happiness.
Practicing self-compassion produces many benefits. It will yield better health, decreased stress, increased self-worth and resiliency, higher emotional intelligence, improved relationships, increased social connections, overall well-being, and life satisfaction. That’s a lot of benefits!
How Do You Develop Self-Compassion?
There are various ways you can learn self-compassion and reap its benefits. Here are a few ways to help you:
Tune In to Mindfulness
As an element of self-compassion, to be mindful means to be aware of your present thoughts, feelings, actions, and emotional state without being judgmental. You don’t ignore, suppress, or brood on your sufferings or the negative side of yourself and your life experiences, whether they are due to a personal failure or external circumstances.
Your goal is to keep a balanced emotional response by preventing over-identification and avoidance of painful experiences when you respond to upsetting life events.
You maintain a positive perspective when you fail at something important to you, and adapt your emotions with openness and curiosity when you experience painful circumstances.
If you notice something undesirable in you, you will employ self-acceptance and embrace your character strengths, as well as your weaknesses, compassionately.
Instead of criticizing yourself, treat yourself with gentleness and care, especially when going through tough times. Be a self-encourager and mentor to yourself. Treat yourself like you would your best friend. Accept yourself unconditionally even if you make mistakes or your behavior requires change.
Be supportive and understanding towards yourself. During stressful times, comfort yourself with kind physical gestures, such as hugging yourself, or putting a hand over your heart.
Avoid the people who don’t value or respect you. They aren’t the sort of people who add to your happiness anyway, so remove them from your life as much as possible.
Accept All Imperfections
Rather than feeling you are not perfect, acknowledge that all people have most of the same things in common! No one is perfect! We are all imperfect and have our shortcomings and flaws. Everyone has typical experiences of failing, making mistakes, struggling in various ways, and having imperfect lives.
Instead of isolating yourself and withdrawing from others, consider your shortcomings as natural facets of being human. See your hardships as part of life that everybody experiences. Remind yourself that all people feel inadequate sometimes. You are not alone in having struggles. It’s what makes you human.
Use Motivational Self-Affirmations
Be more conscious of your self-talk and listen to your inner voice. If a negative thought comes up, adopt positive self-talk using motivational affirmations. Focus on positive self-motivation rather than self-criticism in your intention to change. Practice saying some self-compassionate affirmations that are more focused on common humanity, mindfulness, and self-kindness.
Practice Expressive Writing or Journaling
When you’re in a situation that causes you to feel pain or sadness, expressive writing can alleviate worry and negative thinking. It is an effective coping strategy for stressful life circumstances. Write a self-compassion letter acknowledging your feelings without inhibitions and not blaming anyone.
Other styles of therapy like journal writing will help you acquire enhanced psychological well-being. The benefits of writing, are in regulating your emotions and developing creativity to produce insights and solutions.
Give Yourself the Benefit of the Doubt
If you have a tendency to assume that you will behave negatively toward some people, places, or situations, don’t judge yourself prematurely. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt. It’s like treating yourself nicely as you would others. It means giving a favorable opinion or judgment that there’s something good about yourself rather than something undesirable, despite doubts.
Do some relaxing things to comfort yourself physically. Improve how you feel by taking a warm shower, meditating, playing your favorite music, creating a cozy atmosphere at home, or going for a massage. These activities increase the production of happiness hormones in your body.
Keep in Touch with Friends
Reach out to others to remind yourself you’re not alone in your struggles. Keeping in touch is invaluable to your well-being because it will help you maintain a social support network of morale boosters. Pour your heart out to a close friend or person you trust. Openly talk about what you are experiencing at the moment. Your goal is not to complain about the undesirable things in your life, but to learn a lesson regarding your situation.
Let Go of Social Pressures
It’s typical to desire other people’s validation. It’s a way of life in our social media culture. Some people seem to torture themselves over so many things just to get outside approval. If they fail at their goal, they arouse self-directed anger or disappointment because of their negative thinking regarding how others might perceive them.
If that’s you, stop living your life trying to impress others. Instead, base your happiness on the goal of impressing yourself without social influences, as an act of self-compassion.
Self-compassion is a necessity, not an indulgence or luxury, to achieve happiness in life. Accept yourself as you are, and embrace your unique strengths, particular weaknesses, and oddities.
Recognizing your value and self-worth can counter disappointments better. Fostering positive emotions despite unfortunate circumstances can help you to move forward and find peace and happiness in your life.
Remember, compassion is incomplete unless you give it to yourself.